The steering system may be the beginning of Formula 1 for Lewis Hamilton

The steering system may be the beginning of Formula 1 for Lewis Hamilton

The Formula One season has yet to begin but Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes may have already stolen a race-winning march on their rivals. Hamilton took to the track for the second day of testing in Barcelona using an innovative steering system but one whose legality may still be called into question. Having already been the fastest driver on day one, Hamilton completed 106 laps of relentless running in the morning session. While doing so he was observed to be using the new system, understood to be dual-axis steering and referred…

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Civil society – the basis of the EU strategy in Central Asia

Civil society – the basis of the EU strategy in Central Asia

The EU needs to put civil society at the heart of its strategy to rebuild its political presence in Central Asia, writes Barbara von Ow-Freytag. Barbara von Ow-Freytag is a Berlin-based journalist, political scientist and adviser to the Prague Civil Society Centre, an international NGO supporting and empowering civil society in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The new EU Central Asia Strategy, adopted in 2019, is an overdue step to rebuild Europe’s presence in the region. It offers an ambitious roadmap to re-embed positive European messages in Central Asia. However,…

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EU sees common space for European bank cards

EU sees common space for European bank cards

The European Commission will present this autumn a strategy on an integrated EU payments market, to facilitate the use of national payment services across Europe and reduce the dependency from international card operators such as Visa or Mastercard. The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) provides for uniform credit transfers and direct debits for over 500 citizens in the EU. However, a SEPA for cards is still far from a reality, as national card schemes and banks still don’t see the business case of overcoming connectivity and interoperability barriers and setting…

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Kazakhstan’s venture giant Kenes Rakishev tells about the risky business of being first

Kazakhstan’s venture giant Kenes Rakishev tells about the risky business of being first

Kenes Rakishev’s mainstream business is built around the Central Asian metallurgical giant Sat&Company. His efforts to reclaim scattered assets of the BTA bank around the world are also part of his growth strategy. Kenes Rakishev is also a well-known venture investor. He invested in Fastline Ventures, Telegram’s ICO, blockchain-based Finney smartphone project and Net Element, an American payment processor. He gave an exceptionally informative interview to the well-known Russian “CNews” IT and tech magazine. Kenes Rakishev revealed a lot about the startup scene and his vision of it in particular….

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The shooter killed nine in Germany overnight

The shooter killed nine in Germany overnight

A suspected right-wing extremist shot nine people dead in two shisha bars in an overnight rampage through a German city on Wednesday night (19 February) before, police believe, returning home and killing himself. Federal prosecutors said they had taken charge of investigations into the attack – which happened late on Wednesday in Hanau, east of Frankfurt – due to indications it had an extremist motive. Newspaper Bild said the suspect had expressed far-right views in a written confession. In shisha bars, customers share flavoured tobacco from a communal hookah, or…

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Nine EU countries against the European “mobile package”

Nine EU countries against the European “mobile package”

The number of countries opposing the EU mobility package grew from six to nine on Tuesday (18 February) when the transport ministers of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Cyprus, Malta and Estonia made their positions clear in Brussels. Cyprus, Malta and Estonia joined the six countries that already voiced opposition to EU legislation in the field of road transport, which they see as a protectionist measure designed for rival freight companies in Western Europe. On 11 December a preliminary agreement was reached between the Commission, the Parliament and…

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HSBC will cut 35,000 jobs worldwide as profits fall

HSBC will cut 35,000 jobs worldwide as profits fall

HSBC has said it will slash 35,000 jobs over three years as part of a major shake-up as it issued a warning over the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in Asia. The interim chief executive, Noel Quinn, confirmed on Tuesday that plans to cut $4.5bn (£3.5bn) worth of costs would involve slashing about 15% of the group’s global workforce. “We would expect our headcount to decrease from the current level of 235,000 to be closer to 200,000 in 2022,” Quinn said. “This represents one of the deepest restructuring and simplification…

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The study says that 49% of global GDP is covered by zero targets.

The study says that 49% of global GDP is covered by zero targets.

Just under half of the world’s annual GDP is now covered by nations, regions and cities that are legislating for a net-zero emissions target, a new study has revealed. The latest analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), a London-based think-tank, has found that 49% of GDP, representing more than $39trn, is now covered by regions with an actual or intended net-zero target. A total of 121 nations have put mechanisms in place to deliver net-zero emissions in timeframes that are aligned to the calls of the Intergovernmental…

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British post-Brexit rules “turn off the tap” of low-skilled foreign labor

British post-Brexit rules “turn off the tap” of low-skilled foreign labor

Britain will “turn off the tap” of foreign, low-skilled labor and require all skilled workers wishing to come to the country to have a job offer and meet salary and language requirements as it sets post-Brexit rules from next year. Britain formally left the European Union at the end of January but a transition period is in effect until 31 December, during which time little changes. At the moment, European Union citizens are able to move freely between the member states, prompting some Britons to vote for Brexit in the…

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Europe can win global battle for industrial data, Breton says

Europe can win global battle for industrial data, Breton says

Europe may have lost the battle to create digital champions capable of taking on US and Chinese companies harvesting personal data, but it can win the war of industrial data, Europe’s industry policy chief said on Saturday (15 February). Vast troves of data from how fast we drive our cars to how much time a robot needs to churn out products will open a new front in the battle for digital dominance, said Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner in charge of the bloc’s single market. Alarmed by the dominance of…

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